Last night, while blindly hunting for old video footage from my time in Nepal, I stumbled upon a random screen capture of the below poem. I remember finding it with @tricyclesam and appreciating it.
The brevity of the poem strikingly underplays its precision and resonance. We may not know Sword Gate, the Lu River Wilds, or a frosted scene puckered by chrysanthemums - but the structure and diction evoke clear images, and more profoundly, clear feelings. Pretty neat and powerful stuff.
just a few such days
in a hundred.
After birds pass
over Sword Gate, it's calm;
invaders from the south
have withdrawn to the Lu River wilds.
We walk on frosted ground
praising chrysanthemums bordering fields
sit on the east edge of the woods,
waiting for the moon to rise.
Not having to be alone
we do not talk
of failure or success.
Chia Tao (779-843)
translated by Mike O'Connor
from The Clouds Should Know Me By Now: Buddhist Poet Monks of China